Mass. Safety-Net Hospitals Slated To Get $628M To Better Coordinate Care
Safety net hospitals in Massachusetts are slated to get $628 million to help them focus on coordinating care for patients instead of on which tests and treatments will earn them the most pay. In the meantime, two hospitals in North Carolina are settling their differences over transparency and indigent care.
Seven Massachusetts hospitals that primarily serve low-income patients will receive up to $628 million over three years to change how they care for patients, with the goal of improving quality and cutting costs, state officials announced Tuesday. The Patrick administration is pushing hospitals to change so that they can focus on keeping patients healthy, rather than on the tests and treatments for which they are paid. But doing that requires investing in improved communication between providers and better monitoring the needs of large groups of patients (Conaboy, 5/23).
Modern Healthcare: $628 Million Marked For Mass. Safety Net Hospitals
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said that the Obama administration approved a plan to provide $628 million in incentives to the state's safety net hospitals to encourage investment in integrated care and alternative payment models. The governor's office said in a news release that the administration approved Massachusetts' "master plan" for Delivery System Transformation Initiatives, a program that the CMS authorized in December as part of the state's Medicaid waiver (Lee, 5/22).
North Carolina Health News: WakeMed & UNC Health Care Put Aside Differences, Rex Hospital To See Changes
In a resolution to the bitter dispute between Wake County's two largest health care providers, leaders from both WakeMed Hospital and the UNC Health Care system announced an agreement ending their public squabbling Tuesday at the legislative building in Raleigh. The agreement extracts many of the things WakeMed wanted from UNC subsidiary Rex Hospital: more transparency about Raleigh-based Rex’s finances, and a commitment by UNC to have Rex to provide more indigent care. The agreement also obligates UNC to provide mental health services in Wake County, and creates changes in the governance of UNC Health Care (Hoban, 5/23).
In Dallas, Parkland Memorial Hospital is behind schedule on federally mandated patient safety requirements, and the area deals with a physician shortage --
The Dallas Morning News: Parkland Behind Schedule On Two Critical Patient Safety Requirements
Parkland Memorial Hospital is behind schedule on two critical government safety mandates -- ensuring enough psychiatrists are on duty and developing ways to track the supervision of doctors-in-training. Both problems rank among federal regulators' top priorities for eliminating dangers at the troubled public hospital as part of a sweeping reorganization. Under the government-imposed plan, Parkland must meet 400 initiatives to remove systemic safety risks to patients over the next year to keep hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid funding (Moffeit, 5/22).
The Dallas Morning News: Report: Dallas-Fort Worth Lacks Primary Care Doctors, Specialists to Meet Population Demands
North Texas lacks enough primary-care doctors and medical specialists to meet the demands of a growing population suffering from chronic diseases, according to a new analysis of local health care needs. The report by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council represents the most comprehensive assessment of the region's medical services in several years. … By 2016, when the area’s population is expected to pass the 5 million mark, the shortage of such doctors, including family practitioners, internists and pediatricians, could reach 50 percent, the report said (Jacobson, 5/22).